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GB athlete Jack Green faces race against time to be fit for European Championships in Berlin

By Alex Hoad

Double Olympian Jack Green is in a race against time to be fit for next month’s European Championships after another painful trip to London’s Olympic Stadium.

The 26-year-old Folkestone hurdler pulled up on the back straight of the 400m hurdles at the London Diamond League meeting on Saturday afternoon after clattering the third hurdle – the same one which brought him to his knees in the semi-final of the London Olympics in 2012.

As he did then, the former Brockhill School pupil limped off the track while his competitors stormed to the line – world champion Karsten Warholm breaking his own personal best, in a time of 47.65sec.

Jack Green Picture: Barry Goodwin
Jack Green Picture: Barry Goodwin

In such an elite field, Green had hoped to get close to his season’s best performance (49.18) which came way back on April 12.

That was, however, only good enough for an agonising fourth in the Commonwealth Games final on the Gold Coast, Australia, just eight hundredths of a second short of silver

and two hundredths behind bronze.

Green, who has been selected for the individual 400m hurdles, and the 4x400m relay, admitted the extra-long season had taken its toll.

He explained: “It’s been a long year. My aim was the Commonwealths and then to just hold on. Well, I’m really, really holding on at the moment.

“It is a shame – I was in great form at the start of the year but just struggled since coming back. That emotional high as well as the physical high and coming back from the Commonwealths, just missing a medal – it’s been tough.

“Normally you go to a major championships and you get a bit of a break before you start again whereas this year… a couple of weeks later I was in Qatar doing a race. It’s been different.”

While the Olympic Stadium has its share of ghosts for Green – failing to make the World Championship final last summer following on from his 2012 dismay – he did clock a time of 48.77 on the track 12 months ago, his second fastest time ever and also helped Britain claim a 4x400m relay bronze at those 2017 World Championships.

The Canterbury-based Kent Track Team founder added: “The one I hit was the same hurdle I fell at the Olympics. I was only joking on Saturday morning about how I didn’t like that hurdle in this stadium. It’s one of those.

“That had nothing to do with it really – yes, I clipped it but I’m held together with masking tape at the moment.”

With the heats of the European Championships in Berlin looming on August 7, Green added: “The masking tape has done pretty well until now. We’ll see – just go with the flow. It’s just running around a track, we’ll see what happens.

“It’s a race. I’ve been to Olympics, if I can’t deal with having a slight injury, I don’t think I’d still be running.

“I’ve been through a lot more than that. I took 18 months off (battling depression) and came back and went to the top-10 in the world ­– I think I’ll do all right.

“I’ve just got to get fit and aim for the Europeans. It’s three or so weeks. I’m in good shape and training well, it’s just about freshening up now and hoping to be on that start-line and running well.”

Green also crashed out in the final of the European Championships in Amsterdam in 2016 and suffered semi-final exits in the World Championships in 2011 and Rio Olympics in 2016.

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